As Game 5 of the American League Division Series approaches, the Cleveland Indians are confident their stadium won't be overtaken by New York Yankees fans.
According to the franchise, new ticketing policies will prevent a repeat of Game 7 of last year's World Series, in which fans of the Chicago Cubs possessed a noticeable presence inside Progressive Field.
"Our policies are working," Indians senior director of communications Curtis Danburg told WKYC. "We worked diligently to get tickets in the hands of fans who were interested in attending games, not re-selling."
In an e-mail to those who had purchased tickets to Game 5 of the ALDS sent earlier this week, the Indians reminded fans of their new ticketing policy, put in place this season.
"Tickets acquired through your Season Ticket Holder benefits or via Indians.com public on-sale are intended to be used by you, your family, friends and/or members of your Season Ticket group. The tickets are not intended to be purchased with the intent to be resold," the e-mail read. "As we always do, we are monitoring all sales activity for Game 5, and you could face future repercussions (possible ALCS, World Series ticket revocation) if you do not abide by our ticket policies."
On Tuesday, however, some began to fear that Yankees fans had indeed begun to make a dent in the secondary market ticket supply. According to StubHub, 26 percent of its tickets sold for Game 5 had come via purchases from the New York region. On Wednesday, StubHub told WKYC that number was still hovering around the 25 percent mark.
The Indians, however, remain confident that when factoring a lower number of tickets being sold on the secondary market -- primarily on StubHub -- the number of Yankees fans attending the game will hardly appear significant. Based on their ability to track StubHub purchases, the Indians "anticipate the potential impact from Yankees fans to be less than a quarter of the impact of visiting fans during Game 7" of last season's World Series.
According to Sports Illustrated, 60 percent of StubHub sales to Game 7 last season came from the Chicago era.
Game 5 of the ALDS between the Indians and Yankees will take place on Wednesday night, with first pitch slated for 8:08 p.m.